The Fresh Loaf

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bottleny's picture
bottleny

I had tried again baking these two weeks (I'm a weekend baker). My first goal is to bake a very good baguette like what I saw in the bread books and in France.


Failed sourdough baguette


Last week, I used Carl's starter and the no-knead bread recipe, but tried the baguette shaping. The later didn't go well as you can see below.


The recipe is similar to this one in breadtopia but use longer fermentation in the fridge (37 hrs), followed by 11-hr fermentation at room temperature.


Just mixed. At that time, I measured the flour by volume, since my digital scale had not arrived yet. When compared with the one below, I think this was wetter.



After the first rise, did the stretch & fold (very difficult because the dough tended to stick onto the chopping mat) and 2nd proof (1.5hr). Following Ciril Hitz's demonstration, I managed to have three long sticks.


Initially I proof them on the floured towel. But they were still very sticky and hard to handle, I then decided to rest them on the roaster pan .



Baked at 475F (didn't know the exact temperature in the oven then). I tried to create the steam by SylviaH's method. But most of the steam came out from the ventilation hole on the top of the oven.



When I took this photo, I realized that I forgot to score the dough! Not much oven rising either.


The sourdough sticks. The bottom(not evenly brown; the one in the center was darker)



 


As expected, the crumbs didn't have big holes.



The taste was very sour, a little over what I would like. I'm not sure whether that's normal since this was my first time to have sourdough bread. These were dryer on the 2nd day.


Kind of Successful Stirato


This week I decided to try Lahey's no-knead Stirato recipe. I thought I would have better chance to succeed with his method.


Besides, my order of some baking tools finally arrived, including the digital scale and oven thermometer. This time I used weight rather volum for measuring flour.


Just mixed (Lahey's recipe is 75% hydration). And fermented in the fridge for 11 hr and then at room temperature for 12 hr.



Again, it's very sticky (Question 1). I finally managed to create a rod and divided it into two.



After resting for 40min (Question 2), then stretched them about 13-14in long and put them in the preheated roaster pan (at 475F). I sprayed a little water on top and inside the Al pan (as cover). By the time when I closed the oven door, the temperature already dropped below 400F. :-( Well, I still need to practice more.



Baked with cover for 20 min and without for 10 min (at 450F).


I knew it's a success when I took them out.



The bottom was very dark (Question 3).


 



The crumbs



Very nice for sandwich for today's lunch



Thoughts & Questions


Lahey's "cover" method is easy to succeed even for a newbie. No matter what kind of tools you use for the cover, it works. I wish I can find a way to create enough steam in my oven. Before that, his method is the best I can get.


Question 1: How do you handle a very wet dough? Maybe I didn't put enough flour on the surface? Is it not a good idea to use chopping mat even sprayed with flour?


Question 2: This recipe (Stirato) is different from the basic no-knead bread. For 2nd rising time, Lahey calls 30 min for Stirato but 1-2 hr for the basic no-knead bread. Why is that? I didn't get the double volume for 40 min but I went ahead to bake anyway.


Question 3: The bottom of the bread came out very dark and thick. How can I make it not so dark?

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Testing for a little personal satisfaction!  Today I baked a single large loaf of my usual - 100% levain Country Boule...I use my variation of a recipe from Northwest Sourdough,  for a 100% hydration starter, sourdough country bread.  It was proofed in the frig from 4pm until 9am.  I don't usually proof this long, but I was out for most that evening and had to leave the house at 4pm. 


I have been wanting to see my largest loaf baked in the LCC without topping out.  My loaf fit great, without 'topping out' with what I think will be very close to my fullest ovenspring for this type of loaf.  No crumb shot included.  This loaf is going to a family dinner!


 


                                                 Oven spring just reached under the top of the cover


 


                               


 


                                       


 


                                                           Slashed with a V 'name of slash ?' on top/ Sprung up nice


 


                                                        


                                               


                                                                                                 Apx. 4.5"H X 7" W - Correction: 1lb. 14oz baked                                                                                 


                                                  


                    Happy Holidays!


                      Sylvia                                    


 


                                                                    


                


 


                           


                                


                                      

marybob's picture
marybob

I've had success with Italian Country breads and am happy with the taste, texture, etc., but I can't seem to get a nicely shaped loaf.  The tops tear


in the oven and while they taste great, they don't look great.  What's the secret?

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci

Candied Fruit is often used in desserts in Italy. Candied fruit biscotti is a colorful addition to a Christmas biscotti tray.


http://turosdolci.wordpress.com/2010/12/18/holiday-candied-fruit-biscotti/


 



aldecrust's picture
aldecrust

Hi all,


I am contacting you from across the pond in the UK and looking for some tasty breadstick recipes that really do hit the button.  I have made two types so far. Sundried tomato, parmesan and herbes de provence and the same again but with black olives.  They are always very popular so am looking to expand on the range.  I use a white dough mix, but i am open to anything.


thanks and look forward to hearing from you

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 


Today, we baked the three breads that we had shaped yesterday and retarded overnight – olive bread, raisin-walnut bread and miche. We also mixed and baked francese, French “country shapes” and baguette made with both pâte fermentée and liquid levain.



Olive breads loaded and scored



Raisin-Walnut breads, scored on loader



Miche, scored on loader



Miche, baking in the deck oven



Miche crumb




Some of the breads I baked today



Miches, Olive breads, Raisin-Walnut breads




Frank provided detailed instruction and demonstrations of shaping all the breads, but spend most time on the French Country Shapes, which are seldom baked commercially. They are intentionally innovative and decorative.


Frank demonstrating French Country Shapes



Dough pre-shaped for various French Country Shapes



Couronne Bordelais



Fleur. I have also seen this shape called "Marguerite" (Daisy)



Pain d'Aix



Charleston



French Country Shapes on the loader.


I have not posted photos of all the individual shapes Frank demonstrated, for example the Tordu, the Fendu, the Viverais, the Tabatier, and the Avergnat.



Some of the French Country Shapes I made


 


As I'm sure you all appreciate, there is no way to share everything I've learned. I have selected a few bits of information each day that either provided me with new insights or suggestions for techniques that violate conventional wisdom.


Today's tidbits


We spent some time this afternoon reviewing all the formulas, methods and theory we had covered during the entire week. In discussing autolyse, Frank recommended holding back the levain from the autolyse, even when using a liquid levain, except when the hydration in the final dough is extremely low – say, less than 60% - when the levain really would have a very large percentage of the total water in the dough. His reason is that one chief purpose of autolyse is to develop gluten with less mixing. The acid in the liquid levain inhibits gluten formation, thus defeating the purpose of the autolyse.


Michel Suas re-joined our class for the “graduation ceremony.” He made a plea for us to do “artisan baking” and, as much as possible, avoid mechanization and the use of artificial ingredients. He also shared a “hot tip” that the coming fashion in artisan baking is the use of “ancient grains” such as kamut, teff, etc. He told us that the SFBI staff have been actively experimenting with these grains to develop formulas that use them to produce great breads. I certainly had noticed the immense quantity of flour made with ancient grains on racks and palettes in the bakery, although we did not use them in Artisan II.


This week just flew by for me. The quality of Frank Sally's instruction was just outstanding, as was his skill demonstrations. The opportunity to try new breads and learn new techniques is wonderful, as is gaining a better understanding of the baking process, especially fermentation itself.


Especially for the home baker, the chance to spend so much time with other serious bakers, whether they be other home bakers, serious professionals in training or seasoned professionals, is a rare and wonderful experience.  


David


 

idiotbaker's picture
idiotbaker

 


(Guest Post by Smokestack)


DOUGH NIGHT:
As over clean dinner plates, around 8pm, Idiotbaker and I decided: it was time. Mrs. Idiotbaker and children fled the scene to make room for the culinary chaos about to ensue. Soon the wondermill was lighting up its fine-flour afterburner under Idiotbaker's impatient gaze, while I poured over the five-foot long schedule, wondering how we were going to pull all this off. 


We started with the Panettone. Peter Reinhart's recipe times sixteen. The test loaf turned out alright. We decided to incorporate more white wheat into the flour mix. No time to test again, so we're in uncharted territory as far as flour blend goes. 


One thing to remember when using a 20qt Hobart with a broken low-speed: hand-mix first. After the cloud of flour (raining butter) settled, the damage seemed negligible. The dough looked great after some Hobart TLC.


While Idiotbaker was tweaking the dough, I was doing the hard work: tasting booze/fruit mixtures for each of our four planned panettone batches. Fruits used: cranberry, cherry, currant, mango. Booze: Bacardi, Triple Sec. A couple of the batches had some OJ in there too. 


Also on the docket for the evening was prepping dough for 8 loves of Hutzelbrot. Using a mash is new to both of us. [IB- I messed up and added the altus to the mash as it went into the oven. :( .] No test batch for the Hutzelbrot. This should interesting to watch develop tomorrow afternoon. 


For now, all the dough balls are resting in bags and bowls covering the dining room table; waiting for morning when we fire up the oven. Until then, I'm going to grab a few hours shut-eye. 







 

louie brown's picture
louie brown

My advisers pronounced these perfect, at least in terms of duplicating their memory. Twice as much lard and twice as many cracklings (also of a larger size.) A much coarser crack to the pepper. Just for the fun of it, I mixed this dough considerably wetter than the last. I believe I overproofed it some. Both baked covered in cast iron. One twisted, one scored. I don't think it is necessary to score this loaf, although it is attractive.


For people who love bread and love pork, this bread is a touchstone. Make extra; it disappears very fast.




txfarmer's picture
txfarmer


I have done 2 stollen recipes (yilding 3 big, 1 bigger-than-huge loaves), coffeebreads, cookies, now Kugelhopf. Still have a big one to come: pure sourdough pannetone, yup, after last year's sourdough pandora, I am crazy enough to take on another around of sweet starter insanity. The test run went great (with wacky timing though, I was up and baking bread at 4am), will do the real batch this weekend and report back.


 


Now back to the bread at hand, two years ago, I saw a beautiful Kugelhopf pan on sale at local grocery store, of all places. Hesitated, and it was back to the original price the next day. I have been waiting for it to go on sale ever since, and finally happened 2 weeks ago! With the pan in hand, I made the Kugelhopf reciep from the "Tartine Bread Book". It ueses the all purpose brioche dough in the book, with some extra kugelhopf ingredients.


 


Golden and beautiful out of the oven, and smell heavenly!



 


All dress up



 


With around 30% butter, it's a light brioche, I knead the dough well to pass the windowpane, which results in a light and airy crumb.



 


The recipe used pistachio, and I replaced some apricot with cranberries, in addition to lots of rum soaked currants, just love the colorful crumb, so festive. This shot is done under sunlight, which gives a totally different feel from the ones above (done with lights). Too bad it's so rare for me to have sunlight and finished breads at the same time.



Highly recommend it, the recipe can be found in the "Tartine Bread Book".



 


Submitting to Yeastspotting.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


Today, we mixed and baked ciabattas and challah, neither of them sourdough. We mixed and shaped olive bread, walnut raisin bread and miche to be retarded tonight and baked tomorrow. We also scaled ingredients and mixed pre-ferments for baguettes to make tomorrow. The baguettes will be made with two pre-ferments – a pâte fermentée and a liquid levain. The doughs for the ciabatta and for the miche were hand mixes, and all the levains were mixed by hand.



Scaling water for the miche mix



Hand mixing dough for the miches


Frank had us make 6-strand challah but he also demonstrated a variety of other braids. His challot are pictures of perfection. (Mine are pictures of squid who ate some special mushrooms.)



Challah pieces ready to be rolled into strands fro braiding



Frank's challot, ready to be egg washed prior to proofing



Frank's challot, baked



Challah crumb



My Ciabattas and Challot 





Stretch and fold



Dividing ciabatta dough



Placing ciabatta on the proofing board



Ciabatta baking in the deck oven



Ciabatta crumb


Both the ciabatta and the challah are delicious. I'm looking forward to the breads we are baking tomorrow.


We spent all day in the bakery and only were in the classroom to list our tasks for the day, first thing in the morning. Most of Frank's teaching dealt with dough handling issues, but I picked up a couple pearls worth sharing.


I asked him about how levain is calculated differently from other pre-ferments. (See my blog entry for Artisan II-Day 3.) Here's the answer: It's a matter of convention. Levain and other pre-ferments can be calculated either as a percent of dry flour weight in the final dough or in terms of the percent of pre-fermented flour in the total dough. No big deal. Your choice.


Frank also made two interesting comments as we were scaling and shaping the miches. The first was that long loaves like bâtards have a more open crumb structure than boules made with the same dough. I have found that to be true but attributed it to my shaping skills. The second was that the size of the loaf has a significant impact on flavor. I had also observed this with the miche from BBA which I made once as two 1.5 lb boules, which had a different flavor from the 3 lb miches I usually make. Again, I didn't generalize from that one experience at the time. Interesting, eh?


I am anxious to get home and practice some of the skills I've acquired before I lose them.


David


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